Senators Ask Users on GitHub for Crypto Legislation Feedback

A pair of U.S. senators who recently penned the cryptocurrency bill have published it online through GitHub in an effort to solicit feedback.

The senators, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Republican Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, published the new bipartisan crypto legislation on the Microsoft-owned software development and version control platform.

Through its platform, GitHub enables its more than 83 million users to collaborate on software projects by letting each of them contribute code to the same project at once. 

The senators are seeking comments from “industry stakeholders, consumers and interested parties to ensure that this landmark legislation reflects the innovative nature of the industry it regulates, while also adding confidence, trust and stability for consumers,” Lummis’ office said in an email to Bloomberg.

Legislation to be discussed by Senate

Entitled the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act, the bipartisan bill will seek to set a standard for determining the quality of a digital asset, whether security or commodity. According to the current legislation many cryptocurrencies would be designated as commodities and therefore falling under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The legislation is expected to be discussed at an upcoming Senate Finance Committee hearing. 

“Digital assets, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have experienced tremendous growth in the past few years and offer substantial potential benefits if harnessed correctly,” Gillibrand said in a press release.

“It is critical that the United States plays a leading role in developing policy to regulate new financial products, while also encouraging innovation and protecting consumers.”

CFTC initiates review

At an event earlier this month, CFTC Commissioner Summer Mersinger said the independent board has initiated a review of its potential role over cryptocurrencies. She believes the CTFC “could have some expanded role making” in areas such as spot-market crypto trading, despite the agency historically not regulating spot markets.

“You’re seeing the industry coalesce around the CFTC becoming the primary regulator,” she added. “We’re still a strong regulator but our registrants have a lot of flexibility. They have been very interested in that approach versus the top-down way of some other financial regulators.”

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